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Materials play a key role in manufacturing firms as it represents the major component of manufacturing cost and profitability. The accumulation of, and need for materials in the form of inventories, is a significant variable for managers to concentrate on, monitor and control. This study therefore examined Materials Management: Effective Instrument boost to manufacturing organization using a case study of Unilever Nigerian Plc. Data was collected through a structured questionnaire, relevant publications and interview with key individuals in the company. The results showed that there was significant increase in the company’s profitability as a result of efficient management of materials, which was aided by inter-departmental coordination among materials related departments, inventory management, good relationship with vendors, and state-of-the-art facilities/ICT. However, the major constraints to Materials Management in the company included epileptic public power supply and poor transportation network. This study advocated that priority should be given to Materials Management to Manufacturing Industry in order to achieve significant cost saving, improvement in production efficiency, and increase in profitability and competitiveness. Recommendation was made for government to provide adequate infrastructural supports to boost Materials Management in Nigerian in Manufacturing Industry.









As a manager in a manufacturing company. It is more necessary than ever to improve the overall productivity of the operation while such improvement requires an integrated effort involving all functional areas of the facility, specific actions are required within each functional area one of the functional areas in a manufacturing operation that is critical to the overall productivity of the company is material management. The material management involves purchasing supplier management, material handling within the facility and extensive coordination among all functional areas of the facility in conjunction with material management sapiens, Jazayeri (1998).

Once the production process is under way the attention of the operations manager shifts to the daily activities of material management the daily composes materials purchasing, inventory control and work scheduling.

Material management has a philosophy close to that of a modern marketing. In marketing the organization and its staff has to think in a marketing oriented way for example how will customers react to product change? What will be the effect on sales if we alter the packaging? With material management the same principle apply the organization and its entire staff have to consider their decision in relation to how they will be after the material side of the business topics under material management include purchasing, control, transportation, material production, planning stores, inventory control Bret (2001).

Therefore, the main point of materials management is to satisfy the need to all operating system such as manufacturing production line, promotional activities and physical distributor lines. The operation as the customer, manager must work around the system till everything his and needs are satisfied. The material manager organization and it entire staff should however consider their decision in relation to how they will affect the materials side of the business. It is in view of the above stated facts that this study is being carried out using Unilever Nigeria Plc, Agbara plant a manufacturing company to study the issue of material management.

1.2       Statement of Problem      

The major challenge that material manager face is maintain a constituent flow of materials for production. There are factors that inhabit the accuracy of inventory which results in production shortages premium freight and often adjustments.

According to the journal of Business logistics (2009) vol1 22 part 2. The major issues that all material managers face are incorrect bills of materials, in accurate cycle counts, unreported scrap shipping error, receiving errors and production reporting errors material managers have strived to determine how to manage these issues in the business sectors of manufacturing since the beginning of the industrial revolution. Although there are no known methods that eliminate the afore mentioned inventory accuracy, inhibitor there are best method available to eliminate the impact up on maintaining an interrupted flow of materials for production. Reluctance can be reduced and effectiveness when service point are clustered to reduce the amount of reluctance. An effective material management program can also revolve island approaches to shipping, receiving and vehicle movement solutions can include creating a new central loading location as well consolidating service areas and docks from separate building into one. Developing better circulation infrastructure also means reevaluating thick delivery and service vehicle routes. Base on above statement that this research seek to examine the issue of material management and the effect it has on an organization using a manufacturing company as the case study.

1.3       Objectives of the Study

  • To examine the budget of material and management on improvement productivity in material management
  • To investigate whether specification of materials practice permit high stock turnover validation.
  • To profer useful suggestions and idea on how to effextively manage materials in an organization.

These objectives are intended to be addressed in this study.

  • Research Hypothesis

Hi:                        Material management enhances organizational productivity.

Ho:            Material management does not enhance organizational productivity.

Hi:             Specification on materials has  positive impact on the effective material management.

Ho:            Specification on materials has no positive impact on the effective material management.

Hi:             Effective material handing help in the enhancement of un interrupted production

Ho:            Effective material handing does not help in the enhancement of un interrupted production

1.5       Research Questions

  • To what extent does material management has effect on the productivity level of a manufacturing firm?
  • Does specification on materials have any (positive or negative) on the effective material management.
  • To what extent does effective material handing help in the enhancement of un interrupted production?
    • Significant of the Study

A research of this native is significant in sense that the area of material management is one that requires constant research. It is belief that the study will throw light on the essence and importance of material management in an organization and the choice of Unilever Nigeria Plc as my case study is due to the fact that it is a large scale manufacturing company which the setup provides for the study of this nature.

1.6       Scope of the Study

This research study shall center on materials management in a manufacturing company. It will cover such areas as storage, transportation procurement, materials handling planning control & value engineering etc. the research is also intended to cover a specified period of time range from 2009-2011 also information are going to be drawn within the domain of Unilever Nigeria Plc. Agbara.


Unilever Nigeria Plc, was described as the pioneer  soap making industry in the century, it was establish and incorporated on 11th of April, 1923. The corporate mission, which is to add vitality to life, is the very best heart of Unilever, they seek to ensure that when people choose their brands they are choosing vitality. The journey of achieving this began in the 19th century.

Unilever Nigeria Plc, was incorporated as level brothers (West Africa) Ltd on 11th of April 1923, by Lord Lever Hulme, but the company’s antecedents have to be traced back to his existing trading interest in Nigeria and West Africa generally, and to the fact that he had since the 19th century been greatly involved with the soap business in Britain. Unilever Nigeria Plc started as a soap manufacturing company, one of the oldest surviving manufacturing organization in Nigeria.

After series of merger/acquisition, the company diversified into manufacturing and marketing of food, non soapy detergent and personal care products. These acquisition brought in Lipton Nigeria Ltd in 1985, cheese brought ponds industries Ltd in 1988. The company changed its name to Unlived Nigeria Plc in 2001.Unliever Nigeria Plc is a public liability company quoted in Nigeria stock exchange since 1973 with Nigeria currently having 49% of equity holdings.

The long term success of this business stems from the strong relationship with the consumers based on the deep roots in the local culture and markets, creating more products that help them to ‘’feel good, look good and get more out of life’ and the total commitment to exceptional standards of corporate behavior towards their employers, consumers, communities and operating environment.

The brands are household futurities and this is because they are so deeply committed to meet the everyday needs of people everywhere in Nigeria their deep roots here combined with international experience and support, enable then to consistently develop brands, which raise the quality of life. It is therefore no surprise that one would find that all over Nigeria, people are at home with their brands.

Unilever as a company has embarked on a progamme of restructuring in a bid to re-energize itself, code – named the journey to Greatness: the vision is re-inventing them so that they can deliver fully on their promises to their consumers, customers and investors.

In addition, the company has sharpened its focus by introducing the vitality mission, which stands to ensure that in all they do, they are adding vitality to life for everyone.

Over the years, Unilever Nigeria Plc has been a socially responsible and responsive organization that takes strategic actions for the improvement of the communities and environment in which it operates.


Organizational Performance {OP}: it comprises the actual output or result of an organization as measured against its intended outputs {or goals and objectives}. It is also an analysis of a company’s performance as compared to goal and objectives.

Material Management:     According to Apic dictionary material management means the grouping of management functions supporting the complete cycle of material flow from the purchase and internal control of production, material is to the planning and control of work in process to the warehousing slipping and distribution of the finished products.

Raw Materials: and bought in items these are processed and value added to them to provide the required finished items.

Quality Improvement {QI}: it is a system that provides a structured problem- solving process for identifying the root cause of a problem and also for identifying a root cause of a problem and also for identifying a remedy for the problem.

Inventory Management: This is the part of operation management concerned with discoursing and maintaining the optimum level of inventory investment.

Material control:    is the process of ensuring stock held by the organization is supplied to those parts of the operation that requires them i.e. production, sales, distribution, engineering etc bearing in mind the factors of time, location, quality, quantity and cost Robet (2003).

Improvement {CI}: is defined as the relentless pursuit of improvement in the delivery of values to customer.

Customer Focus {CF}: can be defined as the degree to which a firm continuously satisfies customer needs and expectations. A successful firm recognizes the needs to put the customer first in every decision made {Philips, 1995}.

Employee Participation and Involvement {EPI}: is the processing of empowering the members of the organization to make decision and to solve problems appropriate to their levels in the organization (Bangeeta and Banwe, 2004).

Supplier Quality Management   (SQM):   It can be defined as the set of suppliers related quality management practice for improving suppliers’ quality of product and services. This is exemplified by firm’s supplier partnership, product quality as the criterion for supplier section, participation in suppliers, communication with suppliers, understanding performance, and supplier quality audit (MANN, 1992, ZHANG, 2009).

Top Quality Management (TQM):   It is a management approach center on quality, based on the participation of an organizations  and aiming at long term success, it is also a philosophy for managing an organization in a way  which enables it to meet stakeholders need and expectation efficiently and effectively, without comprising ethical values.


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